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IAEA Gives Iran Deadline to Prove Peaceful Purpose of Its Nuclear Program


The International Atomic Energy Agency Friday gave Iran until the end of October to show its nuclear weapons program is meant only for peaceful purposes.

The 35-nation board of the IAEA adopted a tough resolution calling for Iran to fully cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Proposed by Australia, Canada and Japan and backed by the United States, Germany and France, the resolution urged Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities as a way to build confidence.

The IAEA says Iran should allow inspectors unrestricted access to sites and locations at short notice so that it can verify the accuracy of Iran's statements about its nuclear program. It also asked Iran to provide details of all the material it has imported for its enrichment program, especially components found contaminated with highly enriched particles.

Experts say many nuclear tests conducted by Iran make no sense unless they are part of a nuclear weapons program.

Iran denies it is developing nuclear weapons, and its envoy, Ali Akbar Salehi, walked out of the IAEA board meeting in protest against the resolution. Tehran also threatened to end cooperation with the IAEA.

If that occurred, Iran could be taken to the U.N. Security Council where it could face possible sanctions.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming says the head of the agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, thinks there is still much more work to do in Iran.

Mr. ElBaradei says he intends to report again to the next [meeting of the] board of governors, which is in November. [The IAEA will be] continuing an intensive investigation through inspections and analysis of samples and information that we get from Iran.

Ms. Fleming said the agency hopes Tehran will co-operate with the agency in the upcoming weeks.

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